Pacifiers okay to use for SPD issues (of hyposensitive kind)????

by Becky
(Mansfield, TX)

Hi. My 5 yr. old son has been without a pacifier only since March of this year (he at that point only used it for car rides and for going to sleep). However, he now chews on the front of his shirts constantly. We change out of soaking wet shirts at least 3x/day. I have tried to get him to use one of the "chewy tubes," but he is not interested. Would it be okay to bring back the pacifier????

Comments for Pacifiers okay to use for SPD issues (of hyposensitive kind)????

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Aug 28, 2009
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OT Advice
by: Anonymous

Do not resort back to the pacifier, although this is calming for him just like a bottle or a thumb since the vagas nerve is at the rough of your mouth it a calming reflex. He is chewing on his shirt to feel grounded, if you watch him it is probably excessive when he is trying to concentrate or is expected to sit still. This needs to be take care of with whole body sensory processing activities, such as sucking, and blowing, chewing gum, oral motor exercises and if seen by a professional he is probably struggling with other strength issues as well. A vibrating tooth brush throughout the day or strong flavored snacks(sour skittles, or sour patch kids, licorice, ketchup, BBQ sauce) all help decrease the craving for oral motor input. hope this helps.

Jul 24, 2009
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Pacifier Issue
by: Chrissy Bishop

I have a 2 1/2 year old son who still takes his passy. He only needed it to go to sleep with. He would beg for his passy and his baby (a floppy eared dog that he likes to feel his ears between his fingers or on his face or body). Now he needs that passy and baby alot during the day. Almost always. He even wants to take them outside with him. And we can't even get in the car without his passy and baby or he will pitch a huge fit. His speech therapist said I need to take his passy from him, but I feel like he leans on it so much I hate to take it away. He is talking so much better and trying to copy what we want him to say, so I don't think the passy is affecting his speech. And he doesn't put other things in his mouth as much as he used to at all. What should I do?

Jul 24, 2009
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No Pacifiers
by: Jacki Brockett

Do not resort back to the pacifier it will not benefit your child it will only make things worse. What has caused some of this is your child has had that there as a security blanket most of his life and he has not learned how to let go that is why he is sucking on his shirt. I know it ma sound a little harsh but I had to do the same thing with my daughter and that was sprinkle pepper on her shirts to get her to stop sucking on them cause she would suck so long that it looked like she just got hosed down and after a few times of her getting that taste in her mouth she quit. It did not affect her she is almost ten and loves pepper so resort to something other than going back to the pacifier. One thing for sure is a 5 year old does not need to be walking around with one in their mouth and he already has enough on his plae if he has this disorder.

Jul 24, 2009
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SPD and Pacifiers
by: Anonymous

My goodness, that is an interesting question. I don't have an answer, but you bring something up that I, as a preschooler teacher, have seen before. I have had at least two 4 year olds with this sleeve-sucking habit, and the last one had sensory-integration issues. It may be a clue for the future.

Personally, I would think that allowing the pacifier at home, only, might give your son the assurance that his need for that kind of comfort can be had legitimately somewhere (home being the appropriate place). I would be concerned that, outside the house, he might eventually be ridiculed (children being children) for using one. Perhaps you can put him on a reward system for keeping his sleeves dry at school.


I hope this helps.

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